Only eight of the 97 teams actually made money, with Southern Garrett High School in Oakland, Md., leading the way with $3,210 above the $100,000 with which the team started, Koons said.
Two Washington County teams - one from South Hagerstown High School and another from Smithsburg Middle School - also came out ahead. The South High team finished with $714 more than it started, and Smithsburg Middle came out with $571 more.
"It was fun learning how it all works," said Sam Elwood, one of Koons' fifth- graders. "I didn't have one clue before."
The first thing the team did was research and choose four stocks. It selected Sirius Satellite Radio, Dell Computers, J.C. Penney and Wachovia Bank. The students charted each stock on a graph for nine weeks.
"Sirius was the biggest disappointment," Koons said. Dell didn't do well, either, and Wachovia lost a little during the project. "J.C. Penney was up and down, but on the whole was probably our best bet."
During the nine weeks, the students had the option of changing stocks but Koons reminded them that each sale costs 2 percent, as did each new purchase.
"When Penney's was up, I suggested they sell, but the group didn't want to," Koons said.
Student Alexa Mills tried to convince the group to buy Pepsi stock but she was voted down. "We should have listened to her," Koons said, noting that Pepsi stock made gains after its ads were televised during the Super Bowl.
Jacob Bassett said he learned how stocks relate to the world outside the stock market.
As to investigating in the stock market for real someday, Jessica Barnhart said she didn't think she wanted to "play."
"I know what Nasdaq stands for now," said Michael Snyder. It is the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations system.
The other team members are Jaime Humbertson and Michael Sensenbaugh.
Throughout the nine weeks, the students continued their research via computer and by reading analysts' opinions, Koons said. Any team member who wanted to buy or sell a stock had to back up that argument with facts.
"I think they have been enlightened. They saw trends, learned how to follow a stock and when to sell," Koons said.
Koons said that as a youngster, he was introduced to the stock market by his mother.
To get into the Stock Market Game, Koons said a $25 entry fee was paid to the Towson University staff members who run the game each year. Training and certificates are provided to participants.
While Koons said he was sorry his team didn't get to do much trading, he noticed that several other teams that did trade lost more.
"We were the fourth-highest elementary school team overall," Koons said.